Lordstown is an electric vehicle startup company. Founded in 2018, Lordstown sought to become the first manufacturer of a full size, all-electric pickup truck. The very next year, Lordstown acquired a shuttered 6 million square-foot factory from General Motors in Lordstown, Ohio that had once employed approximately 10,000 people. Lordstown held itself out as a savior that promised to restore lost jobs and transform this area of Ohio into the epicenter for electric vehicle production, which the Company dubbed “Voltage Valley.”
In June 2020, the Company revealed its “Endurance” electric pickup truck in a splashy ceremony that received national media attention. During the event, Defendant Burns, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) heavily promoted the Endurance’s growth prospects, declaring that “we have our whole year, our first year of production already pre-sold” and deliveries of the all-electric truck would begin in “early 2021.” Just two months later, Lordstown announced that it had secured a remarkable $1.4 billion in pre-orders.
In September 2020, only weeks before going public on the NASDAQ through a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), the Company declared that its book of pre-orders for Endurance had expanded from 27,000 to 40,000. By January 2021, the Company’s announced pre-orders for Endurance had soared to 100,000, which Defendants hailed as “unprecedented in automotive history” and put Lordstown in a position to “revolutionize the pickup truck industry.”
Defendants continued to tout the strong demand for Endurance and the Company’s growth prospects throughout the Class Period, consistently pointing to Lordstown’s purported book of 100,000 pre-orders for the Endurance and assuring investors that these represented strong commercial demand from actual customers operating fleets of trucks.
As alleged in the Class Action Complaint, these and similar statements issued by Defendants during the Class Period were false and misleading and omitted material facts. Specifically, as Defendants knew but concealed and misrepresented to investors: (i) the number of Endurance pre-orders were fabricated, and therefore inflated, and thus did not accurately reflect demand; (ii) Lordstown had fabricated the pre-orders in order to give prospective investors a false sense of confidence; (iii) the Company faced undisclosed production obstacles that would continue to delay production and delivery of the Endurance; and (iv) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about Lordstown’s business, operations, and prospects were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.
The alleged class includes: All persons or entities that purchased or otherwise acquired Lordstown common stock from October 26, 2020 through March 17 2021, inclusive.